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God does not play dice, but people should: random selection in politics, science and society


Frey, Bruno S; Steiner, Lasse (2014). God does not play dice, but people should: random selection in politics, science and society. Working paper series / Department of Economics 144, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper discusses and proposes random selection as a component in decision-making in society. Random procedures have played a significant role in history, especially in classical Greece and the medieval city-states of Italy. We examine the important positive features of decisions by random Mechanisms. Random processes allow representativeness with respect to individuals and groups. They significantly reduce opportunities to influence political decisions by means of bribery and corruption and decrease the large expenses associated with today’s democratic election campaigns. Random mechanisms can be applied fruitfully to a wide range of fields, including politics, the judiciary, the economy, science and the cultural sector. However, it is important that random selection processes are embedded in appropriately designed institutions.

This paper discusses and proposes random selection as a component in decision-making in society. Random procedures have played a significant role in history, especially in classical Greece and the medieval city-states of Italy. We examine the important positive features of decisions by random Mechanisms. Random processes allow representativeness with respect to individuals and groups. They significantly reduce opportunities to influence political decisions by means of bribery and corruption and decrease the large expenses associated with today’s democratic election campaigns. Random mechanisms can be applied fruitfully to a wide range of fields, including politics, the judiciary, the economy, science and the cultural sector. However, it is important that random selection processes are embedded in appropriately designed institutions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:D72, D73, P16, H10
Uncontrolled Keywords:Random selection, lot, democracy, representativeness, corruption
Language:English
Date:March 2014
Deposited On:12 Mar 2014 10:41
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:45
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:18
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp144.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-94043

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